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Bellevue Workplace Injury Lawyer

  1. Third Parties Can Be Liable for Workers’ Injuries and Losses
  2. How Our Bellevue Work Injury Attorney Can Help a Third-Party Work Injury Case
  3. Proving Negligence in a Bellevue Workplace Injury Lawsuit
  4. What Damages Are Recoverable After a Workplace Injury in Bellevue, WA?
  5. Time Limits in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases
  6. Common Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
  7. 2021 National Workplace Injury Statistics
  8. 2021 Washington State Workplace Injury Statistics
  9. Contact Herschensohn Law Today for a Free Case Review

If you suffered injuries in a workplace accident, you may have extensive losses, including mounting medical bills and lost earnings. However, employers are protected from employee lawsuits, and workers’ compensation benefits partially cover lost income and medical expenses. 

However, if a third party made an error or engaged in negligent actions that caused your on-the-job injuries, you may be able to recover additional compensation for your losses. A Bellevue workplace injury lawyer at Herschensohn Law can review your legal options and next steps for recovering compensation. Call (206) 588-4344 to learn more during a free consultation.

Third Parties Can Be Liable for Workers’ Injuries and Losses

Third parties that cause injuries or illnesses are not the person’s employer or coworker. However, they can injure individuals who perform work duties within the scope of their employment. Examples include the following:

  • Careless or impaired drivers who cause an accident while the employee is driving for job-related purposes
  • Manufacturers of faulty parts or equipment that injure on-duty employees 
  • Assailants of employees who cause injury through criminal actions, such as a stabbing or shooting
  • Independent contract workers, such as electricians, landscapers, painters, etc., that the company does not employ
  • Property owners who fail to maintain their premises or remedy hazardous conditions, causing accidents such as slips, trips, and falls

If a third party’s negligence caused or contributed to your construction accident, you must choose one of the following options:

  • Option 1: Using its attorneys, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (DLI) can file a third-party claim on your behalf. If the DLI manages your claim, it will repay itself for the workers’ compensation benefits paid to you by taking a portion of your settlement. The agency does not ensure you receive all the damages you deserve.
  • Option 2: You can consult a Bellevue work injury lawyer who can help you file a third-party claim.

How Our Bellevue Work Injury Attorney Can Help a Third-Party Work Injury Case

Our work injury lawyers can navigate the complex legal process and determine if you have a third-party claim. They will collect evidence, identify your losses, and assess their financial worth. They can also negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Personal injury attorneys can also conduct interviews with any witness and obtain statements. Other evidence they could gather includes accident reports, medical bills, photos, and surveillance video, if applicable. Your lawyers may also consult with experts, such as health providers and accident reconstruction specialists.

Many, but not all, negotiations settle personal injury cases out of court. If your case goes to trial, your attorneys can represent you and fight for your right to compensation.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a Settlement?

When a workplace accident results in a third-party lawsuit, the length of time you can obtain compensation varies due to your case’s circumstances. It may take months or years before it’s resolved. The timeline depends on several factors, including how much time is required to collect your medical records and determine the value of losses associated with your injury. 

This development can hasten the process if your case can be settled out of court. If the lawsuit goes to trial, you can anticipate a longer wait. In any case, it’s important to be patient. If you settle hastily, you may not recover the amount you are rightfully entitled to for your injuries and damages.

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Proving Negligence in a Bellevue Workplace Injury Lawsuit

Most personal injury claims hinge on the concept of negligence to prove liability. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise the same reasonable care that another person would in a given situation. For example, a forklift operator has a duty of care to workers in their area to handle the vehicle safely and obey safety regulations. If the operator drove the truck under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this would breach the duty of care.

If you have a personal injury lawsuit, you and your attorneys must prove these four elements of negligence are true to be successful in your lawsuit:

  1. Duty of care: The third party owed you or your loved one a duty to ensure their actions or inactions were reasonable and did not result in injury or death.
  2. Breach of duty: The third party violated or breached their duty due to an error or carelessness, injuring you or your loved one.
  3. Causation: A direct or proximate connection exists between the potentially liable party’s breach of duty and the injured person’s accident-related losses. Moreover, the accident would not have happened “but for” the other party’s action or omission.
  4. Damages: The third party’s breach of duty led to compensatory losses you can prove.

Occasionally, product liability causes work-related injuries. They are subject to a legal principle known as “strict liability” that does not require parties to prove negligence. For example, the manufacturer may be liable for any losses if a forklift malfunction due to a faulty part that caused an injury.

What Damages Are Recoverable After a Workplace Injury in Bellevue, WA?

If a third party was potentially at fault for your work-related personal injury or illness, you may be entitled to pursue damages for losses above those workers’ compensation pays out. 

These may include the following:

  • Medical expenses, such as emergency and ongoing care
  • Lost earnings due to taking a leave of absence 
  • Loss of business and employment opportunities
  • Cost of obtaining substitute domestic services
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish
  • Disfigurement or disability
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Loss of consortium

Note that while workers’ compensation helps cover expenses related to medical bills, lost income, and rehab services, it does not cover subjective losses, such as pain and suffering. You can contact a Bellevue work injury lawyer who can identify and calculate your losses beyond those this insurance provides.

Wrongful Death Actions

You might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive compensation if a third party’s negligence resulted in a work-related accident that fatally injured your loved one. These may include funeral, burial, and cremation costs, loss of financial support and companionship, and pre-death emotional distress the surviving family experiences.

In Washington, only personal representatives can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a decedent’s surviving beneficiaries, who may include the following: 

  • Spouses
  • State-registered domestic partners
  • Biological children and stepchildren
  • Parents 
  • Siblings

Contact a Bellevue work injury accident attorney to guide your personal representative and beneficiaries through the complex legal process of filing a wrongful death case.

Time Limits in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

Personal injury cases parties file in Washington must meet the three-year statute of limitations, per RCW § 4.16.080, which begins on the date the injury occurred or was discovered. Wrongful death actions are also subject to this time limit, which begins on the day the loved one was fatally injured. Failure to meet this deadline will likely bar them from seeking compensation unless the individual(s) involved in the claim qualifies for an exception.

Our Bellevue work injury lawyer will file your case on time so you can pursue damages for your losses.

Common Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

Many injuries and illnesses can occur due to workplace incidents. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Construction injuries, such as falls or falls from heights
  • Industrial work injuries
  • Occupational diseases, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Slip, trip, and fall injuries, such as concussions, dislocated joints, or broken bones
  • Overexertion injuries, such as muscle and tendon sprains or herniated discs
  • Burns or smoke inhalation injuries from fires and explosions
  • Electrocution injuries
  • Exposure to toxic substances, viruses, or bacteria
  • Weather-related injuries, such as heatstroke or hyperthermia
  • Crush injuries, such as organ damage and bleeding, bone fractures, or amputation
  • Collision injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or injuries involving falling objects or vehicles

Workers injured in car accidents often don’t think of these as workplace injuries. However, the most common workplace injury victims are actually delivery drivers and other people who drive for a living.  

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- P.R., Katy, WA

2021 National Workplace Injury Statistics

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), statistics on workplace injuries in 2021 include the following:

The preventable injury fatality rate was 3.1 per 100,000 full-time equivalent, up slightly from 3.0 in 2020. Work-related, medically consulted injuries numbered 4.26 million.

  • Preventable work-related deaths totaled nearly 4,500
  • The construction industry experienced the highest number of preventable lethal injuries (946), followed by transportation and warehousing (900)
  • The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (18.9 per full-time equivalent 100,000 workers) and mining (14.5 per full-time equivalent 100,000 workers) industries reported the highest preventable fatality rates

2021 Washington State Workplace Injury Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers reported 77,600 non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses, or an incidence rate of 3.5 per 100 full-time equivalent workers

Washington was among 19 states that had an incidence rate of total recordable cases significantly higher than the national rate of 2.7.

Whether you suffered a preventable work-related injury or illness or lost a loved one due to fatal injuries sustained in the workplace, you deserve justice if a third party’s negligence caused the incident. 

Contact Herschensohn Law Today for a Free Case Review

While workers’ compensation benefits are limited, losses from injuries due to a third party’s negligence may be recoverable in a lawsuit. If you got hurt in a work-related accident, you deserve compensation for all your losses, not just some. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Herschensohn Law at (206) 588-4344 today so we can assess your case and offer legal guidance and advocacy.

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